Youth Violence

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 7:33 pm on 10th October 2018.

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Photo of Tracey Crouch Tracey Crouch The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 7:33 pm, 10th October 2018

I thank Vicky Foxcroft for bringing this subject to the Floor of the House. I also thank Mr Speaker for granting the debate on a sensitive but important issue.

It might surprise the House to hear this ministerial confession, but I read the interim report of the Youth Violence Commission in preparation for this debate. I can honestly say, as the daughter of a social worker who spent his entire career working with children and families, that it is exactly the kind of commission that, as a Back Bencher, I would have wanted to be a part of. The report is excellent and makes an extremely important contribution to this complex area of policy.

I know that the hon. Lady will understand that, of the recommendations outlined in the report, only those regarding youth services fall within my portfolio, so I apologise to her and to the House for not being able to go into the detail of other departmental policy areas with the same degree of confidence that I do on my own. However, I will make sure that my private office circulates her speech to colleagues who are affected by the subject. I am not sure that I can answer the questions she posed in her peroration, because they do not fall within my brief. For example, although I understand some of the connections between ACEs and youth services, the issue probably falls more squarely within the remit of colleagues at the Department for Education who deal with social services. I am also not entirely sure that the collection of data on knife attacks falls within my Department’s remit. However, those are valid and important questions to ask, so I will make sure that colleagues who may be responsible will provide her with answers.